MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 354 this week

An American Crime (2007)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 20,407 users  
Reviews: 107 user | 51 critic

The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 02 Sep 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 02 Mar 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 19 Jun 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 01 Apr 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: An American Crime (2007)

An American Crime (2007) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of An American Crime.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye
Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Felon (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols, Vincent Miller
Lawless (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce
City of God (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino
Trainspotting (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Crash I (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton
25th Hour (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.

Director: Shane Meadows
Stars: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley
21 (2008)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"21" is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.

Director: Robert Luketic
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey
Alpha Dog (2006)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A drama based on the life of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became one of the youngest men ever to be on the FBI's most wanted list.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin
A Prophet (2009)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jennie Likens
...
Lester Likens
...
Betty Likens
...
...
Paula Baniszewski
...
...
Johnny Baniszewski
...
Shirley Baniszewski (as Hannah Leigh Dworkin)
...
Prosecutor
...
Reverend Bill Collier
...
Marie Baniszewski
...
Hope Orbach
Patricia Place ...
Mrs. Doyle
Calvin Keet ...
Mr. Doyle
Edit

Storyline

Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific, leaving one child dead and the rest scarred for life. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a child's punishment that became a woman's crime. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and disturbing depiction of child abuse and torture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 2007 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Basement  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was the second attempt to tell Sylvia Likens' story on the big screen and the first one to be successful. In the early 1980s there were moves to make a movie about Sylvia but they were dropped in the face of intense opposition from Sylvia's sister Jenny. It wasn't until after Jenny's death in 2004 that efforts to tell the events of 1965 in a movie were revived. See more »

Goofs

During the big "rescue" scene Ricky and Sylvia flee from Gertie in a 67-68 model Ford Mustang, a blatant error considering the movie is set in 1965. See more »

Quotes

Stephanie Baniszewski: What was Momma so mad about yesterday?
Sylvia Likens: You heard. I told everyone Paula was a slut.
Stephanie Baniszewski: That's not true, is it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credit states "Sylvia Likens, 1949-1965". See more »

Connections

References Cannibal Holocaust (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby, I'm Yours
Written by Van McCoy
Performed by Barbara Lewis
Couresty of Atlantic Recording Group
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Truly Disturbing Story That Everyone Should Know About!!!!
23 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Let me begin by saying, I believe this story is one that everyone should be familiar with. And for that, I would recommend people see this movie. But I do not think the film, in itself, was the quality I would've liked it to be.

The scenes seem to be too conservative at times. And the flashbacks to what had happened, previously, give the viewer an outside perspective of things. And it is that omniscient point of view that keeps the viewer from really becoming involved in the story.

I think Ellen Page did an incredible job of acting. And I truly love her movies. But I wonder if the people making this film were so afraid of insulting certain persons that they did not want to submerge themselves into a truly emotional reenactment of what had actually happened.

Bottom line: If you want a story that is presented to you in segments, then by all means, watch this movie. But if you want a truly disturbing film that puts you in the eyes of the victim, and makes you feel sick to your stomach... then there are other movies based on the same event that are much more involved!!!


55 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Baniszewski kids should be haunted by Sylvia's face forever davidjrichardson73
Paula Baniszewski in Iowa metalkyle-595-718974
The Dream Sequence tromphisromphis
Why such a low score on Rotten Tomatoes? ebrady98
Compared to The Girl Nextdoor chelsi-boswell
I've tried to watch this... ablast
Discuss An American Crime (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?